UA Health Sciences and UA Researchers Awarded ABRC Grants Totaling Nearly $6M for Health Research

The three-year Arizona Biomedical Research Commission Awards will fund research relating to neuropathic and cancer pain, migraines, opioids, antibiotics, antivirals, sinusitis, obesity, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, pulmonary disease and pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome.

Twelve University of Arizona Health Sciences researchers and two UA researchers recently received Arizona Biomedical Research Commission Awards totaling nearly $6 million that will fund health research relating to neuropathic and cancer pain, migraines, opioids, antibiotics, antivirals, sinusitis, obesity, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, pulmonary disease and pediatric acute-onset neuropsychiatric syndrome (PANS).

The three-year grants include six Investigator Awards of as much as  $750,000 each and eight New Investigator Awards of as much as  $225,000 each. The grants were awarded following a competitive application process.

ABRC Awards are made only to Arizona institutions. A unit of the Arizona Department of Health Services, ABRC’s mission is to advance Arizona as a biosciences leader and provide funding to accelerate promising research toward clinical testing and breakthroughs to improve the health of all Arizonans.

Five UA Health Sciences researchers and one UA researcher received Investigator Awards:

  • Katherine Ellingson, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, UA Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, nearly $387,000, for “Antibiotic Stewardship in Arizona Skilled Nursing Facilities.”
  • Kenneth Knox, MD, associate dean, faculty affairs and development, and professor of medicine, UA College of Medicine – Phoenix, $750,000, for “A Novel Ex-vivo Leaf-lung Model to Study Pulmonary Disease.”
  • Benjamin Renquist, PhD, assistant professor, animal and comparative biomedical sciences, UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, $749,933, for “Targeting the Cause of Type 2 Diabetes.”
  • Sydney Rice, MD, associate professor, Department of Pediatrics, UA College of Medicine – Tucson, $750,000, for “Assessing the Causes, Epidemiology and Under-diagnosis of Pediatric Acute-onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS) in Arizonans.”
  • Scott Sherman, MD, PhD, associate professor, Department of Neurology, UA College of Medicine – Tucson, $750,000, for “Ketamine, A New Symptomatic Treatment for Parkinson's Disease.
  • Todd Vanderah, PhD, professor and head, Department of Pharmacology, UA College of Medicine – Tucson, nearly $736,000, for “Novel Derivatives of Ang-(1-7) for the Treatment of Neuropathic and Cancer Pain.”

Seven UA Health Sciences researchers and one UA researcher received New Investigator Awards:

  • Jennifer G. Andrews, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Pediatrics, UA College of Medicine – Tucson, $225,000, for “Retrospective assessment of PANS Incidence.”
  • Frank Duca, PhD, assistant professor, gastrointestinal microbiology, School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences, UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and member of the UA BIO5 Institute, $223,258, for “Role of the Small Intestine in the Prebiotic Treatment for Obesity.”
  • Rebecca Vanderpool, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Medicine, UA College of Medicine – Tucson, and Department of Biomedical Engineering, UA College of Engineering, $225,000, for “Diagnostic and progressive markers of RV failure in pulmonary arterial hypertension.”
  • Jun Wang, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, UA College of Pharmacy, $225,000, for “Discovery of broad-spectrum influenza antivirals to combat influenza epidemics and pandemics.”
  • Tally Largent-Milnes, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Pharmacology, UA College of Medicine – Tucson, $225,000, for “NHE1 at the Blood Brain Barrier: Implications for Anti-Migraine Therapy.”
  • George T. Noutsios, PhD, postdoctoral research associate III, Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, UA College of Medicine – Tucson, $225,000 for “Surfactant Protein A as a New Therapeutic in Sinusitis.”
  • John Purdy, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Immunobiology, UA College of Medicine – Tucson, $225,000, for “Targeting host metabolism during infection of two diverse viruses.”
  • John Streicher, PhD, assistant professor, Department of Pharmacology, UA College of Medicine – Tucson, $225,000, for “Spinal Cord Heat Shock Protein 90: A New Target for Opioid Dose-Reduction.”

About the University of Arizona Health Sciences

The University of Arizona Health Sciences is the statewide leader in biomedical research and health professions training. The UA Health Sciences includes the UA Colleges of Medicine (Phoenix and Tucson), Nursing, Pharmacy and Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, with main campus locations in Tucson and the growing Phoenix Biomedical Campus in downtown Phoenix. From these vantage points, the UA Health Sciences reaches across the state of Arizona and the greater Southwest to provide cutting-edge health education, research, patient care and community outreach services. A major economic engine, the UA Health Sciences employs approximately 4,000 people, has approximately 800 faculty members and garners more than $140 million in research grants and contracts annually. For more information: uahs.arizona.edu (Follow us: Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn)